Viggle Sucks Under New Management

rip-viggle

Do you guys remember this lame post I made back in 2013?

I gave a brief overview of a great app that allowed you to earn points and redeem rewards just by watching TV and listening to music.  (The music feature was added after the 2013 post.)  It was amazing!  I spent a lot of time “checking in” to songs and shows, and watching all the extra ads it would let me in order to gain those important extra points.  I’d redeemed several gift cards, a Viggle T-shirt (because I was more than happy to spread the word about this amazing opportunity), and had plans for possibly redeeming the biggest prize of a cruise for two (which cost several million points)!

Credit: get.viggle.com
Credit: get.viggle.com

I’m normally not one who likes to largely announce to the world how horrible something is, but this situation it too awful.  It was slightly over nine months ago that Viggle was sold to Perk.  I’ve used the Perk Browser in the past and it… wasn’t terrible.

The following is the review I finally left for the app in the App Store.  Some is repeat of what I already said in this post, but I give the details of the horrible result of the buy-out.

Rating: ★✰✰✰✰

I used to love Viggle.  Not only did I use it all the time, but I proudly wore the merch I bought with my Viggle points.

Now, the app has to be constantly open the entire time you’re watching the program you checked into.  Take a phone call during ads?  Miss out on points.  Do ANYTHING with your phone during the show?  Miss out on points.

Also, apparently points expire now.  It’s been a couple months since I last opened the app, and I opened it today only to discover I have only 6 points.  I had at LEAST 6,000.
Nope.  Don’t like that.

I’m keeping the app for as long as it takes to exchange my Viggle points for Perk points and redeem them.  Only 60,000 Viggle points are allowed to be exchanged per month, which translates into 3,000 Perk points.  I still have over 200,000 Viggle points, so it’ll take a while, but I’ll be so glad to be done with this Perk takeover nightmare.

Credit: hahasforhoohas.com
Credit: hahasforhoohas.com

I would be more understanding if Viggle was sold because it was losing money, but it wasn’t.  I was just sold.  (News articles linked at bottom.)

I’m fully convinced that all of the 5-star ratings it currently has are either from people who never knew Viggle when it was good, AND/or people desperately trying to get points took advantage of Viggle’s offer of bonus points for giving such a rating.  Nope.  Bribery is not my thing, either.  I’d rather give or read an honest review than a fake 5-star just for points.

I will give Perk a bit of a break in my rant with the best change they have made to Viggle.  They’ve finally added the ability to check in with shows and movies you’re streaming.  Don’t have regular TV or cable?  That’s not a problem anymore.  Watching on Netflix, Hulu, etc., will also get you points.

All in all, I don’t think Perk is an evil, selfish company, but they really should have thought more about what kept Viggle users coming back in the first place.  Instead, they changed everything, making it harder to earn points, and making rewards 5x as expensive to redeem.  Just remember: the most important thing in any business is the consumer.  If the consumer doesn’t like what you’re selling (or how much you’re selling it for), you lose money.


Articles about the sale:

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151214005688/en/Viggle-Sell-Assets-Perk.com-All-Stock-Transaction

http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/strategy/21876.html?utm_referrer=direct%2Fnot%20provided&utm_referrer=direct%2Fnot%20provided

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Perfume Tour 2016, Chicago, IL | Making Memories is Important

IMG_3202
Sister’s fortune cookie message before we started the journey.

It still doesn’t quite seem real.

After nine years of loving their music, admiring how cute they are, and adoring their outfits, I finally saw A-Chan, Kashiyuka, and Nocchi in person!

There were SO many people there!  I knew they’d grown in popularity in America, but I really had no idea!  There were so many people in line; so many dressed in their outfits, some even performing their choreography for others in line, and I honestly didn’t expect to see so many men in attendance, haha.

Credit: kawaiikakkoiisugoi.com

The girls were so energising, and interacted with the crowd a lot.  They were sweet and funny, even when they didn’t speak in English.  (For instance, when A-Chan wasn’t sure how to express in English just how full they were from eating so much Chicago deep dish pizza beforehand; and at one point, they recruited an interpreter from the audience.)  The best part, of course, was that the stage was only about thirty feet from us!

IMG_3253
“WAAAAAY back in line to see Perfume, but we’re here!”

I wish I could have taken any video or pictures during the concert, but of course, it was forbidden. I figured there would be plenty of official content released later, or that someone else would break the rules and publish it to YouTube (which they have).

Credit: aramatheydidnt.livejournal.com
Credit: aramatheydidnt.livejournal.com

There’s even a moral to be learned from the trip.  In the recent past, I’ve passed up opportunities to try new things and go new places because travelling is hard on my body.  I lived in New Mexico for almost four years, a state that has observatories almost everywhere, and I never visited one.  All the ones I found were still at least a four-hour drive away, but I knew that even being in the car that much would leave me in some sort of pain or illness; so I didn’t go.

When Perfume’s trailer was released for their American tour, I decided that memories and adventure are more important than avoiding physical inconvenience.  About a day after returning home from the trip, I got a terrible head cold.  You know what?  It was worth it.  I went on a road trip with my sister.  We shared a vegan cupcake at my favourite coffeehouse in Uptown Normal.  We stayed at an Airbnb spot in Chicago.  We were in Chicago for the first time.  We hung out with Hubby’s grandparents, and saw places in Bloomington-Normal we otherwise wouldn’t have.  And darn it, we saw Perfume live.

Credit: allkpop.com

 

The red velvet cupcake we shared the day before the concert.

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I’m Going To See Perfume Live!! | Cosmic Explorer Tour, USA

Back in 2007, I came across this little trio of Japanese singers via YouTube who called themselves Perfume.  After watching about ten of their music videos, I was hooked.  I obtained some of their music and soon shared it with my sister, who immediately became a fan as well.

Since then, her fandom has surpassed mine, and she makes sure I stay in the loop with any new songs, albums, music videos, and concert footage.

250px-MonochromepromoPerfumeApproved1
Perfume circa 2004 for their single “Monochrome Effect” (left), and 2016 for their album “Cosmic Explorer” (right).

 

This year, Perfume is making a tour stop in America close enough that we’re finally going to see them live!  The entire trip is going to be quite a bit more driving than I can usually handle, but we’re breaking it up enough that hopefully it’ll be OK 👍.

Another exciting part is that we’ve booked a room through Airbnb, and it’ll be my first experience with it.  I’ve heard so many good things about it, it’s so much cheaper than a hotel, and the particular room I booked has SO many great reviews!

Credit: soshified.com
Credit: soshified.com

As of the publishing of this post, we’re probably reloading our stuff in the car to set out for Illinois.  I won’t give a lot of details about the trip until it’s over, but I’m glad the planning is finally done.

Nine years of fandom leading up to this.  Perfume is bigger than ever as the most popular Jpop group in Japan.  Even Pentatonix posted a music video just last week with their Perfume medley!

I’ll leave you with the videos to two of my favourite new songs of theirs (one fast and one slow):


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30 Day Movie Challenge 2 – Day 28

30-DMC_2

 

Day 28: A Classic Movie You Love

 

Mary Poppins

 

Credit: Ronald Grant Archive/Disney
Credit: Ronald Grant Archive/Disney

 

I don’t think I really need to explain much here.

A Time Lord-like woman arrives to be a couple children’s nanny.  She inspires their imagination, and saves their dad from being a butthead.

The music is brilliant, and I can’t get enough of Mary and Bert (not necessarily as a couple).

And of course, there are the earworms.  (Cue “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”)

 

What classic movie do you love?

 


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30 Day Movie Challenge 2 – Day 6

30-DMC_2

 

Day 6: Favourite Soundtrack From a Movie

 

Home Alone

 

homealone

 

Why not have Christmas in July?

I have to pick the entire musical contents of this movie.  I dislike none of the songs, and it’s somehow not quite Christmas without listening to the music from Home Alone (even if it’s just by watching the movie).

Sure, I could have picked any number of songs from a lot of movies for their great scores (such as Spider-Man 2 for every song, or X-Men: First Class especially for “Magneto“), but I have to go with this one.

 

What’s your favourite movie soundtrack?

 


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My Desert Island Movies – A FanVid

As soon as I’d heard the song “Cinema” by Benny Benassi I fell in love with it. (Specifically the Skrillex remix, radio edit.) My geeky obsession this year is movies; I haven’t really played many video games. Every time I listened to this song I would think of scenes from 2012. I decided to make a music video with my favourite movies, but soon changed it to my “desert island movies.” (If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it refers to the list of, usually, five movies you would want to have with you if you were stranded on a desert island. Keeping in mind that these are the only five movies I would see for the rest of my life, some of my current favourite movies didn’t make that list; however, I adore them no less.) I only have four currently on that list, and chose three of them for the video. (The one not featured in the video is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.)

One random fact that I had realised about the video, after I had already started making it, was that each of the three featured movies has an actor from the 1998 film The Impostors (Oliver Platt, Stanley Tucci, and Alfred Molina), which is one of my current favourite movies. So in a sense, there are four movies; three of my desert island movies and one hidden movie I simply adore.

Xbox One Revealed!

This entry will replace my usual Friday post for this week.  I’ll push that one ahead for next Friday.


I watched earlier today as Microsoft unveiled their third-generation Xbox — Xbox One.  While the name for the new console sounds cleaner, I think it seems too much like a reset.  I’m sure the name will grow on me, especially with how amazing this piece of technology is.

Xbox_Consle_main

The shape — again, not quite fond of it.  While the upgraded Xbox 360 was further curved and made sleek and shiny, the Xbox One is very boxy — the overall shape reminds me of the NES.  However, I am a fan of how clean it looks.  There are no buttons on the front; all you see is the nicely decorated slit for the disc drive and a black-and-white Xbox logo.  It also has sort of a checkerboard look with half-matte and half-gloss.

microsoft-xbox-one-4858_610x407

The new Kinect is brilliant.  There are so many upgrades to this puppy!  It can now sense every movement: facial expressions, wrist twists, even your heartbeat!  Trouble with having enough lighting, or is there a lamp right in your face?  That’s no longer a problem.  The room can be bright or in total darkness and it’ll still see you perfectly!

Gaming with or without the Kinect will become a completely new experience with Xbox One.  The graphics are intense, the Kinect will bring new meaning to sports gaming, and with a constant internet connection you never have to wait for game updates to download before you play.  It’s always annoyed me that when I go to play a game I first have to download an update that takes forever.  Not anymore.  Live updates!

This isn’t just a gaming console upgrade; it’s a complete replacement of all of the boxes taking up space in your living room, minus the stereo system.  You can have your television service connected directly through Xbox One — it even has its own guide!

The voice commands and even movement options are fantastic.  There’s no longer a need for remotes, not even to turn it on.  “Xbox, on.”  Oh, hello, my Xbox is on and I’m already signed in.  No loading time!  “Xbox, movie.”  Star Trek resumes.  “Xbox, music.”  Maybe two seconds later, Deadmau5 comes through the speakers.  “Xbox, TV.”  Suddenly, you’re watching TV.

No.  Loading.  Time.

Snapping makes multitasking simple with Xbox One.  “Snap Internet Explorer.”  Watching sports?  Now you can see a live update of your fantasy team on your TV as you watch the game!  You can also Skype at the same time as watching television.  Movie night with your long-distance friends?  No problem!  Watching sports with fellow fantasy sports friends?  Again, not a problem!

13890-E1-1

It seems so far that this console will not be backwards compatible (able to play Xbox and Xbox 360 games), but no official news from Microsoft yet.

The price has yet to be announced, and the release date is labeled “later this year.”  I fully expect to see Xbox One available for sale in the USA by, if not before, Black Friday.

More details about Xbox One will be released when E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) happens in three weeks.


A few sources for more information:

http://reviews.cnet.com/microsoft-xbox-one/

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/05/xbox-one/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/may/21/xbox-720-microsoft-reveal-console-live-blog

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/05/21/microsoft-reveals-xbox-one-entertainment-console/

Perfume

I apologise ahead of time… When I started writing this post, which favours Japan, I didn’t think about the fact that I’d be posting it on Pearl Harbor Day, the anniversary of the Japanese attacking America during World War II! LOL my bad.


I’m not talking about the oils or artificial scents that one sprays on themselves to cover up whatever it is they think they smell like. Nor am I talking about the UK band from the 1990s. I am talking about my favourite J-pop group. (J-pop is short for “Japanese pop,” though the group’s technical genre is techno-pop. This is not to be confused with K-pop –Korean pop– or C-pop –Chinese pop.–)

I know what you might be thinking… that Asian music is strange. The lyrics don’t make sense, and the videos are even worse. (My thoughts go to the recently famed “Gangnam Style,” which I actually had yet to see until I started writing this post.) For the most part, I would agree with you. I admit, I myself still don’t really understand Japanese poetry or figures of speech. (I figure as I continue to learn the culture and language –and I need to be more devoted to taking my lessons as I should be fluent by now– I’ll eventually figure things out.) I get the gist of some songs, fully understand very few, and probably most of them I like purely for how it sounds.

This group Perfume currently consists of three girls (all around the age of Hubby): Ayano Oumoto (“Nocchi” – the one who seems to be the “tomboy”), Yuka Kashino (“Kashiyuka” – the adorable one that looks the youngest, but is actually the oldest), and Ayaka Nashiwaki (“A-chan” – the pretty one, my favourite — not to say the others aren’t pretty, but I’m not sure what other word to use to describe her as separate from the others). Originally, the band had Yuuka Kawashima (“Kawayuka”), who was quickly replaced by Nocchi. (Kawayuka withdrew because she wanted to pursue her studies.) The group got its name because the three original girls had the Japanese character (香) for fragrance in their names.

Left-to-right: Kashiyuka, Nocchi, A-chan.
A very basic history, these girls attended the Actors School in Hiroshima, in its charter year of 1999, beginning in sixth grade. They released their first single, “Omajinai Perori” (or “OMAJINAI★ペロリ” as it appears on my iPod), in Hiroshima in March 2002, and their next single “Kareshi Boshuuchuu” (translation: “Looking for a Boyfriend”) later that year.

I’m not going to go on with facts and leave no room for why I like this band or how I came to know of them. Back in 2007, I randomly came across a J-pop video on YouTube called “Super Jet Shoes.” I don’t remember what group it was, it wasn’t Perfume, and the video has since been removed. I was strangely intrigued by it, and there were related links to more J-pop videos by a group called Perfume. I watched maybe ten of their videos before I realised that I really liked how they sounded and I had to own some of their music.

After listening to them for about a week, I started looking online to find the lyrics. I came across Perfume City, an unofficial fansite but my number one Perfume resource, and they have the lyrics to their songs in Kanji (the more famously known written form of Japanese), Romaji (Japanese transliterated into English letters), and also in English! I picked some of my favourite songs at the time to learn. I printed the Romaji lyrics for “Computer City,” “Electro World,” and a couple others (but I only got around to learning those two at the time), read them aloud several times to myself, and even typed them until I finally could sing along with them. The lyrics in English are what helped me find out if the words were actually the kind of things I wanted to be singing, and simply to understand what the songs are saying.

My personal favourite song, “Dream Fighter,” is amazing. It actually makes sense, LOL! The poetry is understandable, it sounds great, and it’s encouraging enough to have gotten me through many tough days at work. This song is about keeping your dreams in sight and no matter how tough it gets, no matter how many times you get knocked down, never let go — get back up and keep fighting for your dreams!

They finally made a music video after months of me returning to YouTube in hopes of finding it. The video is a bit strange for the song, but it’s very classy compared to most of their stranger earlier ones.

mcqueen_in_japan

Have you seen the movie Cars 2? Then you’ve already heard Perfume! Their song “Polyrhythm” plays in the scene when Lightning McQueen and Mater arrive in the Japanese club. (See that clip again by clicking here.)

With the recent popularity of “Gangnam Style,” I know that the general (or at least younger) populace of America can understand that songs (or at least music videos) can be enjoyable even if you don’t fully understand it. (Although, the song “Gangnam Style” is about making fun of the lifestyle in the region of Gangnam in Seoul, Korea. You can read more about that here.)

I’ll finish up with two music videos. First, “Dream Fighter,” because it’s my favourite song:

Second, “Nee” (translation: “Hey”), because it’s actually a really cool video. It’s my sister’s favourite song. And I really want A-chan’s black-and-white striped jacket! (Also, the random cat cracks me up.)